It might not be on the top of your list of “to do” exercises, but belly dancing can be one of the best ways to keep fit.
Belly dancing has an intriguing history – in fact, it’s one of the world’s oldest forms of dance. And women of all ages can participate (with your doctor’s knowledge and permission, of course).
Belly dancing is beautiful, fun, and healthful!
Here are 7 reasons why it’s considered healthy, and also why it’s so much fun.
1. Made for Women
The movements of belly dancing originated as a way to ease and manage labor. Rocking and moving the pelvis and midriff helped women in childbirth, and now similar movements are adapted to create what we know as belly dancing. In fact, belly dancing may help with some health issues specific to women (see below).
2. PMS and Menstrual Cramp Relief
When you belly dance, the movements are said to relieve pelvic congestion and promote uterine relaxation. It’s also said to increase circulation to the pelvic area, possible relieving cramps and other symptoms of PMS.
3. Low-Impact Exercise
Unlike some more intense forms of dance, belly dancing is easy on the joints. Belly dancing involves movements that come naturally, working with the body rather than against it. You don’t have to contort into odd positions or jump and land over and over on the same joints. Instead, belly dance moves involve rolling, pivoting movements that enhance your natural movements.
4. Posture Improvement
Belly dancing works the muscles of the abdomen, hips, spine, and neck, which are the primary muscle groups that are involved in good posture. Sometimes called core muscles, the muscles of the trunk and neck are important for overall stability and balance. Belly dancing can help you improve in these areas.
5. Lower Back Help
Sitting for long periods at a computer, desk, or some other similar job can be hard on your lower back. Belly dancing helps align and stretch the lower back. The motions are gentle and repetitive, not unlike a massage.
6. Weight Loss
Belly dancing is a great form of exercise; you can burn around 300 calories an hour. And as you tone up your core muscles, it helps burn fat. If you’re looking for a good exercise that’s fun and healthy and can also be done in a relatively small space, belly dancing may be just the thing for you.
7. Osteoporosis Prevention
There is evidence that belly dancing helps prevent osteoporosis. It’s considered a weight-bearing exercise, because you’re moving and standing the whole time you’re dancing. Ample evidence supports weight-bearing exercise as a way to prevent loss of bone density.